Clarence, a friendly place to age

CLARENCE played host to the second National Forum for Age Friendly Cities Australia when delegates from around the state and country met together in Bellerive earlier this month.

The event allowed Council representatives who are affiliated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities Network to share and discuss ideas for how to continue to be more “age friendly” or inclusive to all ages.

Clarence was the first Tasmanian council to join the network in 2014, which recognised the work of Council and its Clarence Positive Ageing Advisory Committee (CPAAC).

CPAAC hosted the two-day forum at the Bellerive Yacht Club with support from the Clarence City Council.

Chair of the event Alderman Sharyn von Bertouch said one of the key themes raised during the forum was the language used around growing older and how this could contribute to ageism.

“Being more positive and inclusive as to how we think about our own ageing, as well as the words we use to describe ourselves and other people as we age can make such a difference,” she said.

“Being more inclusive works both ways and as one of the presenters from Council’s Youth Network Advisory Group indicated, ‘young people can be extremely selective about our interactions with other age groups’.

“And, of course, this works both ways.”

University of Tasmania social sciences senior lecturer Peta Cook, who was one of the keynote speakers, said the event displayed “admiral cohesion” between the CPAAC group and the Council.

“Older people are seen here as active participants who are appreciated and allowed to contribute to their communities, but often in society they can be made to feel invisible,” she said.

“The Clarence City Council should be looked to as a role model for other councils for how to acknowledge and embrace the valuable contributions older people can make.”

Lauderdale resident Joan Carr, who is a founding member of CPAAC, also gave a presentation to the forum on her experiences during the past 10-years in Clarence.

“We want a community that is friendly for all ages and we are doing that pretty well in Clarence,” the 83-year-old said.

“We are working toward addressing the important issues like good housing, transport access and social interaction for all.

“Already we meet the required criteria which allowed us to join the WHO Age Friendly Cities and Communities Network in 2014.”

For more information about the forum, visit www.who.int/ageing/projects/age_friendly_cities_network/en/.

Caption: From left, Dr Peta Cook with Clarence Positive Aging Advisory Committee members Joan Carr, Kevin Huxtable and Leanne Doherty.